Saint Benedict’s Magazine Fall 2021

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FA L L 2 0 2 1 M A G A Z I N E

First in Class Bennies are on their way toward advanced degrees... right here

INSIDE 10 A doctor in the house 18 Body, mind and spirit 22 Let care be had of the sick




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A doctor in the house Body, mind and spirit Let care be had of the sick


1 Message From the President 2 Worth 1,000 Words 4 News 26 I’m a Bennie 27 Class Notes 34 Bennie Connection 37 Generosity

The College of Saint Benedict Magazine is published three times a year by the office of Institutional Advancement. EDITOR Greg Skoog (SJU ’89) ASSISTANT EDITOR Margaret Arnold CONTRIBUTORS Ellen Hunter Gans ’05 Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13) Sara Mohs Leah Rado COVER PHOTO Graduate students of the CSB DNP class of 2024 Denise Christie ’00, Karina Lopez Barabash ’16 and Taylor Schreiner ’19. Photo by Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13). CONTACT College of Saint Benedict Magazine Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099 For address changes, please call 1-800-648-3468, ext. 1 or email Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer The mission of the College of Saint Benedict is to provide for women the very best residential liberal arts education in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.


Go ahead and be proud I know I’m not the first to note the general hesitancy among Bennies to brag. About anything. But today I’d like to encourage you to try it out. It’s a great time to be a Saint Ben’s alumna. You are graduates of a great women’s college. And, as the recent article “Want Your Daughter To Go to the C-Suite? Send Her to a Women’s College” illustrates, that’s a very good thing. Mount Holyoke College alumna Kate Winick says in the article that, “Being in an environment where people other than men hold every leadership position, run every project, lead every team and sit at the top of every class is empowering in the extreme. You’re given the opportunity to get comfortable with the sound of your own voice and get used to being heard, and you go out into the world ready and expecting to lead.” So be proud! And one thing we’re proud of at Saint Ben’s is the way we develop nurses who are well prepared for leadership as well as their licensure exams. The Benedictine values they learn here make them compassionate and attentive providers. Since we began in 1969, our Nursing Department has grown to become one of our most respected and competitive majors and a producer of the best nurse-leaders in the region. It’s something we do incredibly well. And it’s a field where our alums shine. In 2015, we were able to reimagine a thoroughly advanced space on the fourth floor of our Main Building and create the Guy and Barbara Schoenecker Nursing Education Suite. In 2020, we expanded the cohort of students in our undergraduate nursing major by a third. We’re now able to admit 72 new students into the major every year. Those were both big deals. But this year’s news is even bigger. This fall, the first cohort of graduate students in our new Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice Leadership programs began coursework toward what will be the first graduate degrees ever conferred by the College of Saint Benedict – the first doctoral degrees conferred by Saint Ben’s or Saint John’s.

This fall, the first cohort of graduate students in our new Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice Leadership programs began coursework toward what will be the first doctoral degrees ever conferred by the College of Saint Benedict or Saint John’s.

Sometimes community need, faculty excellence and alum support come together, and this is one of those times. Our state – and especially rural communities in our state – lack well-trained health-care providers. Our faculty, with their great expertise, have been proposing, planning and advocating for a program like this for several years. And, when the new doctoral nursing programs were announced, our seats filled quickly – primarily with CSB/SJU nursing alums. Your alma mater is now offering accredited, respected graduate nursing programs. And we see this as a bold first step that opens the door for other potential graduate programs in other areas where our academic strengths mesh with the community’s needs and the market’s demands. But that’s a story for another day. Today, in this issue of Saint Benedict Magazine, we’re going to look at the college’s relationship with health care: our new graduate programs, our growing footprint in education for a variety of health professions, and the remarkable history of how the sisters of our founding Order of Saint Benedict laid the groundwork that led us to this place. It’s a proud leadership tradition – and we’re continuing to build on it.

Laurie M. Hamen, J.D. College of Saint Benedict Transitional President Fall 2021 | 1


LOOK WHO’S HERE! The College of Saint Benedict class of 2025 arrived in August. They represent 18 states and three foreign countries. Their mean high school GPA was 3.72. In fact, more than one in five of them had a 4.0 high school GPA. Twenty-seven percent of them are first-generation (neither parent completed a baccalaureate degree) students, while 38% have a legacy connection (parent, grandparent or sibling) to CSB or SJU.

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Class of 2020 Gets Their Commencement “Welcome back to campus. Welcome back to that commencement ceremony you couldn’t have in 2020. Welcome back for that in-person event you deserve,” said SJU Transitional President James Mullen in his welcome to the CSB and SJU classes of 2020 for their unique celebration on Sept. 11, 2021. Roughly 425 graduates returned to campus, along with more than double that many guests. “This is the first time a lot of you have been back on either of these campuses since hurriedly packing your bags in March 2020,” said CSB Transitional President Laurie Hamen. “A lot has changed since then. But

I can tell you with confidence that the heart of Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s remains the same.” The warm, sunny, September day included a joint commencement ceremony held outdoors in Clemens Stadium at Saint John’s, followed by a reception and celebration on the Mall at Saint Ben’s. “In the 19 months since campus closed, and we were sent home in the middle of March of our senior year, we’ve changed,” said CSB student speaker Lauren Simonet. “We went from brighteyed undergrads with a few months of college (still to come) to navigating a postgraduate and pandemic-wrought world as young adults, waving a resume in hand. But we did it. We graduated!”

Saint Ben’s Shines in College Rankings Once again, the College of Saint Benedict is well positioned in national rankings by a number of respected publications and organizations. Washington Monthly CSB was ranked No. 18 this year by Washington Monthly and SJU No. 49 among liberal arts schools. CSB rose from No. 31 and SJU from No. 60 in the Monthly’s 2020 findings. Washington Monthly ranks liberal arts colleges – four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs – based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service.

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U.S. News and World Report CSB rose slightly to No. 92 in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report rankings of liberal arts schools. That was an improvement of four spots from the magazine’s 2021 placement. Meanwhile, SJU checked in at No. 105, a slight drop from its 2021 ranking (No. 102). College Factual Among 63 colleges in Minnesota, College Factual ranks CSB No. 3 and SJU No. 5 this year. On a national scale, CSB was ranked No. 107 and SJU No. 142. CSB’s ranking puts it in the top 4.2% of the schools in the country examined by College Factual, while SJU’s ranking is in the top 5.5% of the schools. College Factual’s analysis looked at 2,576 schools in the United States to determine

which were the best in terms of overall quality. Its ranking methodology focuses on over 20 different objective factors (such as graduation rate, post graduation earnings and a school’s average expenditure per student) to make this determination. Zippia Zippia, a career website, found that SJU was once again the best college for employment placement in Minnesota in its 2021 analysis, with a 95.16% job placement rate. It was the fourth time in five years that SJU earned the top spot in Minnesota. For the third year in a row, CSB was second in the state with a 94.88% placement rate. Using the Department of Education College Scorecard data, Zippia searches for the college in each state with the highest listed job placement numbers 10 years after graduation.


Progress in Earnest Toward Strong Integration

0 and 5 Alums Converge for Special Fall Reunion

Since 2019, the Boards of Trustees of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have been working together toward “strong integration.”

The term applies not to a merger or acquisition, but to what CSB Transitional President Laurie Hamen calls “a new and, we think, national model of governance in higher education that allows institutional autonomy and brings deeper collaboration between institutions. We’re getting ahead of the competition and setting a model that will earn national attention.” The three most visible effects will include: • a framework of two boards of trustees made up of the same individuals • a single president serving both institutions • a significantly streamlined and integrated administrative culture Some of those changes require approval from our accrediting board, the Higher Learning Commission. In November, we received that approval and are now able to begin the national search for a single president – with the intent to have that person in place in summer 2022.

On Saturday, Oct. 2, Bennie and Johnnie alums from class years ending in 0 and 5 gathered together to reclaim the Reunion experience that COVID tried to deny them. The numbers were smaller than a typical Reunion, the schedule was very different and many of our traditions shifted to accommodate new and different opportunities. But what was as true as ever were the smiling faces and enduring connections that draw this community together. Bennies from the class of 1970 celebrated their 50th Reunion at a special luncheon. And 2020 Distinguished Alumna Award winner Mary Kramer ’85 received her award before an appreciative audience of Bennies, Johnnies, families and friends. (Decade Award winner Angela Guentzel ’10, Benedictine Service Award winner Carrie Crook ’95 and S. Emmanuel Renner Award winner Kathy Kurvers Henderson ’85 were all unable to attend.) Next summer, alums from class years ending in 1 and 6 will celebrate their Reunion on July 8-10, after 2 and 7 alums gather on the regularly scheduled weekend of June 24-26.

Alvino Arrives as New VP for Marketing/Communication After a nationwide search, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University introduced Katie Alvino as the new vice president for marketing and communication on Aug.1. “Katie’s experiences in collegiate and corporate marketing are going to make her a valuable asset for CSB and SJU,” said Laurie Hamen, CSB transitional president. Alvino recently served as the director of marketing and retail operations for student affairs at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the UofM in 2016, Alvino worked for International Dairy Queen as director of

product and brand marketing for Blizzard, Treats and Cakes. “As we create a unique national model of collaboration between Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, Katie will be a critical partner in developing brand recognition and communicating our tremendous story of excellent student outcomes,” said Hamen.

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Introducing New Alum Board Members As of July 1, 2021, fifteen new Bennie alumnae have accepted roles on the Saint Ben’s Alumnae Board and begun their two-year terms.

The mission of the Alumnae Board is to foster and strengthen the life-long relationship between the alumnae and the college, to connect, energize and promote Bennies and to support the mission of Saint Ben’s as the premier Benedictine college for women in the country.

Leandria Albury ’21 Nassau, Bahamas

Kathryn Enger Enke ’05 Monticello, Minnesota

Ellen Newkirk ’13 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Madeline Beard ’20 Chanhassen, Minnesota

Ginny Reuter ’76 Rice, Minnesota

Paola Popoca ’20 Bloomington, Minnesota

Emily Berg ’18 Corcoran, Minnesota

Sarah Gorman ’19 St. Paul, Minnesota

Sydney Robinson ’19 Las Vegas, Nevada

Linnea Louis Finney ’97 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Noelle Gunderson Elliott ’03 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Danielle Purcell Lohbeck ’06 Edina, Minnesota

Katie Frazier Boettcher ’12 Maple Plain, Minnesota

Cate Condon de la Rosa ’91 Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Nancy Opstad Weldon ’92 St. Joseph, Minnesota

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New Trustees Join CSB Board Edward J. Bonach (SJU ’76) Edward is the retired CEO of CNO Financial Group (formerly Conseco) in Carmel, Indiana. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mutual of Omaha and is a member of the Audit and Investment Committees of the board. After his retirement in 2017, the City of Indianapolis declared Dec. 5, 2017, Edward Bonach Day, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb awarded him with the Sagamore of the Wabash – the highest distinction in the state of Indiana. His two children, Ann-Marie ’01 and Edward (SJU ’03) are both CSB/SJU alums. He and his wife Peggy currently live in Plymouth, Minnesota. Mary Lynne Dombovy ’77 Dr. Mary Dombovy is a physician specializing in neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation. She is employed at Rochester Regional Health System in Rochester, New York, as both chair and vice president of the neurosciences service line. She earned her M.D. from Mayo Medical School in 1981 and a master of health systems administration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001. In 2013, she was the winner of one of 14 Presidents’ Awards at the CSB Centennial All-School Reunion. Mary and her late husband Michael Johnson have three grown children. She currently lives in Webster, New York.

Maria Stanek Burnham ’01 Maria is a language arts teacher at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School in Minnesota and earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the College of St. Scholastica. She is the past president of the CSB Alumnae Board and served for two years on the Board of Trustees in an ex-officio capacity for that role. Now she serves with full voting status. Marie and her husband Jay have two children and live in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Jen Kocourek ’92 Jen is the current president of the CSB Alumnae Association Board of Directors. She works as a senior category marketing manager for digital imaging at Patterson Dental in St. Paul. She has previously worked at Sun Country Airlines, Target, U.S. Bank, Northwest Airlines, Carlson Marketing Group, Carmichael Lynch and Gage Marketing Group. Twice before, she has served on the Alumnae Board – 1994-95 and 2003-04. She was a key volunteer with the CSB Annual Giving rebranding project in 2008, served on the Presidents’ Circle Committee in 2012 and was an AllSchool Reunion Ambassador in 2013. Jen’s father, Edward Kocourek, is a past CSB Trustee (1983-97 and 2000-08) and former board chair.

Shields Armada Named 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year On Tuesday, Oct. 19, six CSB and SJU alums were recognized for their entrepreneurial spirits by the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at their annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. CSB Alumnae Entrepreneur of the Year Gina Shields Armada ’97 After graduating from CSB, Gina Shields Armada began her professional journey at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), where she worked for nearly a dozen years, primarily in the health care vertical. In 2008, she joined MHC Software to lead product management for the company. Over the next 10 years, she served in additional roles across marketing, sales and operations until she was named CEO of MHC in 2019. Within the last two years, she has overseen MHC’s acquisition of three companies as the team continues to expand its insightdriven workflow and content automation solution offerings for customers across the globe.

Other winners recognized this year included: 2021 SJU Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Chris Coborn ’81, chairman, president and CEO of Coborn’s Inc. 2021 CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur of the Year Kurt Vickman ’94, social entrepreneur, real estate developer and cultural developer – founder of Good Grocer 2020 CSB Alumnae Entrepreneur of the Year Jennifer Dugan Roth ’91, CEO and cofounder of GrowthMode Marketing 2020 SJU Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Dennis Carlson ’86, chairman and CEO of WeDriveU 2020 CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur of the Year Angela Untiedt Jerabek ’90, founder and executive director of BARR Center®

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New Multicultural Center Opens in Murray Hall Murray Hall received a thoughtful renovation and a brand-new entrance this fall with the construction and opening of the new CSB/SJU Multicultural Center. The student-centered space allows a place for underrepresented students to conduct meetings, programming or simply hang out. A conference room equipped with state-of-the-art technology has been added as well. “If you’re walking around and, for whatever reason, don’t feel represented on campus, we want you to come to that space and know that you are welcome,” said Malik Stewart, director of multicultural student services. The new center also provides a new option for cultural clubs to hold programming or club meetings. Reinvigorating cultural clubs on campus is one of Stewart’s goals for the year. He used the Asia Club as an example. The club promotes Asian culture in formal and informal settings and in the context of Benedictine values and multiculturalism on both campuses. But, given the impact of COVID-19, “Only seniors would have experienced the Asia Club,” said Stewart. “It was a big club at one point.” The Multicultural Center is also an important hub for international students, given the specific requirements they face. “Aside from navigating culture shock and a different

educational system, they’re also navigating the immigration system,” Stewart acknowledged. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Godgift Iteghete ’22. “It creates a space for the conversations that need to be had.”

Recap for a Record-Setting Give CSB Day On Wednesday, Oct. 20, nearly a thousand donors raised their lights together in a grand collective effort to help today’s Bennies shine on. The result went far beyond this year’s $500,000 goal for an incredible $572,393 given toward Saint Ben’s scholarships in a single day. That’s the largest Give CSB Day in CSB history. As in past years, a key component of Give CSB Day success was the collaboration with 20 leadership donors to establish a tremendous pool of matching gifts. That allowed alumnae, parents, friends, faculty, staff and even students to make gifts on Give CSB Day knowing their contributions would be doubled. Watching more than half a million dollars roll in to support the scholarships that make a Saint Ben’s education viable for many students

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made a pretty exciting day for the CSB Annual Giving team. They set up shop in the Gorecki Fireside Lounge and stayed busy all day long. “I wish everyone could have been with us to witness the students who stopped by our table and asked what we were doing,” laughed CSB Director of Annual Giving Maggie Weber Utsch ’00. “Every single student was genuinely grateful and in awe that all these people were lining up to give and support them.”

Give CSB Day 2021 by the numbers • $ 572,393 raised through 817 total gifts from 805 donors* in 24 hours • Largest single gift: $30,000 •M ost common gift amounts: $100 (175 gifts) and $50 (138 gifts) • Average gift size (overall): $380.22 * 12 donors chose to make more than one gift.


CSB Announces Varsity Lacrosse Program, to begin play in spring 2023

Dierks Brings Passion and Experience to Saint Benedict Athletics BY | LEAH RADO

The College of Saint Benedict is starting a varsity lacrosse program to begin play in the spring of 2023. The Bennies will become the fourth NCAA Division III women’s varsity lacrosse program in Minnesota, and the program will bring the number of varsity sports CSB offers to 12. CSB Athletic Director Kelly Anderson Diercks said that the Bennies intend to apply for membership in the Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference, which includes three Minnesota schools (Northwestern University, Augsburg University and Hamline University), Cornell College and Wartburg College in Iowa and Lake Forest College and Monmouth College in Illinois. The sport continues to grow in popularity, both within the state and nationally. More than 3,800 high school girls participated nationally in lacrosse during the 2020-21 season, and there are currently more than 290 Division III women’s collegiate programs across the nation. There are 95 high school girls’ lacrosse teams in the state, according to the Minnesota State High School League.

Kelly Anderson Diercks started her tenure as CSB’s athletic director on July 1. She joined the CSB Athletic Department after an impressive tenure at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, where she served as an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Diercks was chosen as the department’s leader for her vision for the department, her experience in an athletic administration role and her knowledge of the value of women’s athletics. Prior to her role at Augsburg, Diercks served as the assistant director at the MIAC where she led the 25th Anniversary of Women’s Athletics Committee and served as part of an event management team for MIAC Championships from 2006-08. She is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports, the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators, and the College Sports Information Directors of America.

LOOK AT HER GO • #BENNIENATION and Fall 2021 | 9


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This fall, when a cohort of 15 students began their graduate courses at Saint Ben’s, it launched a new era in the college’s history. In three years, these students will be the first to walk across the graduation stage in full doctoral regalia. It’s a milestone that marks the culmination of a lot of hard work and visionary thinking.

Nate Dehne, CSB/SJU Vice President for Enrollment Management, says adding graduate-level courses to the nursing program complements our mission and is part of the colleges’ long game.

The cohort of students enrolled this fall will follow two tracks (a doctor of nursing practice – family nurse practitioner track and a doctor of nursing practice – leadership track) presented by the College of Saint Benedict, in partnership with Saint John’s University. Next fall we will add a master of science in nursing with a focus in leadership, education and practice.

“There are programs that pop up in the marketplace that come and go all the time. We’re not trying to just capitalize on the next hot majors. We leaned into our mission, the roots of our Benedictine tradition, our experience in the health care field and the relationships that we’ve built over time. It goes all the way back to the sisters at Saint Ben’s founding the St. Cloud Hospital. There’s an ethos of caring for others that’s built into our nursing profession here. It’s something that we’ve had in our DNA for a long time,” Dehne says.

Before refining the details of the doctorate programs, CSB/SJU did three separate market analyses that looked at the interest level and preferences of prospective students and the needs of the community. The team studied job postings for different areas of nursing from January through May 2020 and found 300 daily job postings for family nurse practitioners in Minnesota alone. It also met with clinical partners such as CentraCare Health System and other health systems in the area to get a better understanding of their needs. “There was a clear need within the community for this type of a program. Our community partners see a substantial gap that they’re trying to fill with strong, high-quality candidates. We anticipate that trend will continue over the next decade,” says Peterson.

L to R: Taylor Schreiner ’19, Karina Lopez Barabash ’16 and Denise Christie ’00 are all members of the DNP class of 2024. Taylor and Karina are on the Family Nurse Practitioner track while Denise is pursuing the DNP-Leadership track. Fall 2021 | 11


“We see approximately a quarter of our (nursing) graduates go on to graduate school. We’ve been wanting to provide them with an opportunity to transition into a graduate-level program here within our own college.” - Graduate Nursing Chair Dr. Jennifer Peterson ’98

When surveying prospective students, the team wanted to know what type of program would best meet their needs. A higher percentage of students indicated that they preferred to complete their doctorate degrees in three years versus four. And because most students are working professionals, they preferred a hybrid learning format. As a result, much of the coursework in the three-year tracks will be completed online. Students will be on campus one-tothree times per semester for each course. Peterson says having the graduate students on campus at certain points throughout the program was important to build community and ensure a superior education. “One thing we’ve done very effectively in our undergraduate program is creating an experience where the faculty get to


know their students really well. There’s a strong sense of community within our undergraduate program and we wanted to make sure that we continue that in our graduate program. We do that by having smaller cohorts of students and incorporating these residential pieces,” she says. Another reason for smaller cohorts is the program’s guarantee of clinical placement. Most family nurse practitioner programs place the responsibility of finding clinical placement on the graduate students. Our doctorate program takes on that responsibility. “I know in my personal experience as a family nurse practitioner student, I had to find my own clinical placements through networking,” says Peterson. “And that can be a challenge. I think that’s become increasingly more difficult over the

last decade as these types of programs have become more popular. So this is a significant part of the program and something we can offer our students that sets us apart from other programs.” The colleges are able to guarantee clinical placements, in part, because of their strong partnerships with area clinical agencies. Dehne says the schools’ reputation for producing quality undergraduates forged those connections. “My daughter Emma is a living, breathing example of this right now. She’s going into her junior year here and even at the undergraduate level she’s getting feedback from alums and other clinical agencies that she picked a fantastic program because of how prepared the graduates are. When you have health care providers and organizations looking to your programs for their leaders and supporting these programs, it makes acquiring clinical placements possible,” Dehne says. Another unique offering of the program is the elective for specialty care areas. Graduate nursing students have the ability to develop specialized skills beyond the traditional family nurse practitioner track through a specialty clinical course and clinical rotation. “If a registered nurse comes in wanting to get his or her graduate degree as a family nurse practitioner, and they currently work in a specialty area, this program accommodates that. We’ve created a course that allows them to get those

additional hours in their specialty area of interest. It’s something our clinical partners are very excited about,” says Peterson. When developing the courses for the leadership track, CSB and SJU were intentional about incorporating input from the Global Business Department. Peterson says it’s important that nurse leaders have knowledge regarding all realms of working in a leadership role, including team building, organizational structure, behavior, finances, budgets and strategic initiatives. “When our leadership students complete the program, they’ll be eligible to sit for the AONL Executive Leadership Certificate and the NLN Nurse Education Certificate for nurse educators, so they could potentially gain two different certifications by completing one track,” she explains.

An accredited, forwardfocused curriculum When developing the curriculum for the programs, faculty members spent time looking at a number of other programs to get an idea of what was successful and what was typical regarding credit loads. They also met with clinical partners on a monthly basis to get feedback on what they’re seeing from graduates of other programs, if any gaps exist in the marketplace and if there were certain trends about which we needed to be intentional. Finally, faculty looked to the standards set by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and the accrediting bodies.

“There was a clear need within the community for this type of a program. Our community partners see a substantial gap that they’re trying to fill with strong, high-quality candidates. We anticipate that trend will continue over the next decade.” - Dr. Jennifer Peterson ’98 Fall 2021 | 13


The curriculum was created in a way that if trends shift away from family nurse practitioner toward a different type of advanced-practice nursing position, it can easily be modified to accommodate those changes. The faculty members also needed to consider how the coursework would be presented to and consumed by students. Because at least half of the coursework will be online, we worked with the CSB/SJU IT Department to develop a user-friendly platform that’s easy for students to navigate and is consistent across all courses. The programs received formal approval from the Board of Trustees and the colleges’ faculty senate in fall 2020. The approval process began in May 2020 for the family nurse practitioner track. In April of this year representatives from the Minnesota Board of Nursing completed a site visit and approved the program. The program also needed approval from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and from the Higher Learning Commission, which conducted a site visit this May and granted approval in July. In addition, approval from the colleges’ nursing accrediting agencies began this fall, after students were enrolled in the program. A formal visit will take place next fall to finalize that approval.

Building on a strong froundation Dehne says adding a graduate track to an already reputable undergraduate program spills over to undergraduate enrollment. “Having a graduate program solidifies our enrollment numbers and the quality of those applicants. It gives us an opportunity to communicate pathways from the undergraduate program to the master’s and then the doctoral program as well. Demonstrating those pathways to high school juniors and seniors will be a very attractive selling point,” he says. The undergraduate nursing program was recently expanded to accommodate 72 incoming students each year. Beginning next fall, the graduate programs will accommodate up to 18 students per track. The master’s program will include more. Enrollment for the next cohort of graduate students began Oct. 1. Peterson believes so many alums are drawn to the program because of the strong sense of community they’ve taken away from their undergraduate experience and the high-quality professional preparation they received in the program. “One of the things that stood out to us in our market analysis was the strong affiliation our graduates had with the CSB and SJU community. Those strong connections make our graduate courses that much more appealing. Several of the faculty who teach in the nursing programs graduated from Saint Ben’s* – I am one of them. That really speaks to the strong sense of community we have and why so many former students have the passion to return for their graduate program,” she says. * In fact, a remarkable seven members of the current Nursing Department faculty were Bennie undergrads.


Taylor Schreiner ’19 is part of the first cohort of graduate students enrolled this fall. She echoes those feelings. “Saint Ben’s was my second home as an undergrad. I walked away with so many friends that I still keep in contact with. When I heard that they were offering a graduate program, I thought what better way to continue my education? I know I’m going to be supported along this journey and I know this opportunity will be the best,” she says.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Guaranteed clinical placements

• One-to-one mentorship for DNP project

• Electives for specialty practice areas

• Graduate assistant teaching scholarships available

• Discounted tuition available for CentraCare employees

• Eligibility to become certified as a family nurse practitioner or a nurse educator and/or nurse executive

Schreiner currently works in the float pool at the Mayo Clinic. Once she completes her doctorate degree, she hopes to work in a clinic and possibly specialize in pediatrics. She also hasn’t ruled out teaching or mentoring other students. “One thing I love about nursing is that there’s the possibly to constantly grow and learn. The opportunities are endless. You can really go anywhere with it,” she says. Besides choosing the CSB doctorate program for the strong sense of community she experienced as an undergraduate, she credits CSB and SJU professors for preparing her for a career in nursing. “As a nurse, we have to think outside the box. All my professors challenged me to ask questions, think critically and go above and beyond what was expected. They really set me up for success,” she says.

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Art history as a health class? YOU BETCHA. That’s one of the many rich, mind-expanding interdisciplinary options that arise when you embed traditionally science-based curricula in a liberal arts environment. Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s have developed three new health-focused minors, along with a doctor of nursing practice program, a master of science in nursing degree and additional structured course loads to support a dozen or so pre-health programs.

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BUT WAIT, AREN’T WE A LIBERAL ARTS INSTITUTION? We absolutely are. And these enhancements aren’t at the exclusion of our liberal arts core. Indeed, they’re completely in harmony with it. That’s because, like all our disciplines, we look at not simply the facts you can learn (though those are important) but also how you can use that information to navigate the world. Liberal arts at Saint Ben’s means learning to think critically, advocate passionately and lead courageously. It means finding ways to challenge yourself, others and the status quo. It means acting with empathy and curiosity, listening not to respond but rather to understand. It means finding creative solutions and creating possibility in impossible situations. To us, that sounds like a darn good foundation for anyone in the health field. From developing compassionate bedside manner to innovating breakthroughs in the lab, and from finding new ways to reach and engage with underserved communities around the world to founding health care companies rooted in ethical problemsolving – this, and so much more, is all at the intersection of health sciences and liberal arts.

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PART OF OUR LEGACY Health programs have always been part of our heritage, including a renowned nursing program and dietetics program, and more recently a popular exercise and health science program. Over the last several years, students began expressing increasing interest in a broader range of health-focused opportunities. We also noticed more students taking coursework that would set them up for advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, veterinary medicine, chiropractic medicine, pharmacy, dietetics and optometry. In response, we have long offered curated course loads that fulfill requirements for each of the above career fields. The best part: a student can major in music while preparing for medical school, or major in Spanish while preparing for vet school, or major in accounting while preparing for optometry school. You get the idea. The objective: gain a strong grounding (and applicable prerequisites) in the field of your choice while you explore and pursue your passions. The result: a career that’s enhanced by different contexts, perspectives, experiences and areas of expertise.

That’s how we end up with pharmacists who have an entrepreneurial spirit and the skills to match. Pediatricians who understand the principles of elementary education. Scientists who can write eloquently about their findings. The list goes on and on. Actually, let’s add one more to the list: physicians who identify an issue and make a diagnosis because of their art history studies. You might have been suspending your disbelief after reading the opening line of this piece, and that’s understandable. It feels like a stretch. But this is a real thing. Evidence suggests that studying art history in the pursuit of medicine can help practitioners pick up on nuanced nonverbal cues. Art doesn’t speak, but it certainly communicates. Patients aren’t always able to articulate what’s happening to them, either because they lack the language or training or simply because they’re uncomfortable. Imagine being able to sit with someone – even over video chat – and pick up on a nonverbal cue because you’ve been taught to examine a problem far beyond words or a medical chart or a printout of vitals. That capability is incredibly important, especially given the world’s skyrocketing reliance on digital medicine.

MINOR PROGRAMS, MAJOR IMPACT The three new minor programs are:



“Data analytics is a central tool for decisionmaking,” says associate professor of mathematics Bob Hesse, co-director of the data analytics program along with professor of economics Parker Wheatley and professor of computer science Imad Rahal. “Whether a person’s profession is as an epidemiologist, accountant, marketing manager, physician, political adviser, nurse, teacher, historian or biologist … they will be immersed in data as they attempt to make good choices in a rapidly changing environment.”

The narrative practice minor provides students with the skills to deliver community-based interventions using creative-writing based narrative practices: activities and frames which allow participants to convey their stories with the structure and audience that art provides. Assistant Professor of English Chris Bolin was instrumental in bringing this minor to life. The program equips students to help their communities – professional, local and other – respond with language that provides new and useful ways to address the complexity of the challenges they face.

The 22-credit minor features 14 required credits and eight credits of elective courses spread over the various disciplines. Departments with coursework contributing to the minor include accounting and finance, biology, computer science, economics, environmental studies, global business leadership, mathematics, physics and political science.

“In narrative practice, students use creative writing as a means to connect with patients and other practitioners, and through the ancient tools of storytelling they develop a better understanding of patients’ very personal and intimate worlds of chronic diseases,” says Manuel Campos, who serves as the Cyprian Weaver Professor of Biological Sciences and is responsible for developing, supporting and overseeing pre-health programming at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s.


The global health minor got a boost from a $143,563 grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program through the U.S. Department of Education. “The momentum for the global health minor has been apparent in recent years, as students have expressed growing interest in exploring global health challenges,” says associate professor of sociology Ellen Block, who is serving as the grant’s director. “Even before COVID-19, global health has been on our students’ radar – from Ebola to the Zika virus to health disparities in our own communities, these are issues that impact everyone and that students care deeply about.” The courses and training provided by the minor will help students analyze some of the most pressing problems that shape our world, preparing students for exciting careers in health care, public policy, international service and more.

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This investment in health-focused opportunities doesn’t require the creation of a new department or a dramatic shifting of resources. This isn’t a zero-sum game at all. Indeed, the bulk of what we need to make this happen is already here. “We’re really drawing from the expertise and areas of interest among our existing faculty,” says Barb May, academic dean and professor of biology. The genesis for this new programming came from discussions among faculty members, who were reflecting observed student interest combined with their own desire to enhance interdisciplinary offerings.

Applied practical experiences are an integral component of the health programs at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. The inclusion of applied experiences enables students to test-drive a particular field, which is a clear benefit to anyone, whether they’re jumping right into the workforce or considering a post-graduate degree. When you’ve seen what a role is like – in practice not just on paper – while you’re still

They brought that discussion to May who saw the value for current and future students, and to the institutions as a whole. May herself was a liberal arts graduate who went on to receive a doctorate in a very science-focused field. She specializes in microbial genomics, pathogenesis of infection, and environmental impacts of infection – but the intersection of these topics and liberal arts are what make a scientist a successful science professor, and what make a successful science professor an academic dean who oversees everything from Medieval and Renaissance studies to public accounting. The fact that there’s a wealth of interdisciplinary capability within our faculty speaks to the exact point this investment seeks to make: health sciences and liberal arts are not siloed. Overlap is natural and necessary. Studying anthropology is not a distraction from a pre-occupational therapy track. It enhances it. Focusing in gender studies is not a distraction from a premedicine track. It enhances it. Take peace studies, Latino/Latin American studies, philosophy, Japanese, history, classical languages, music, theology, computer science – there’s overlap everywhere, and every area of expertise and pursued passion makes for a more well-rounded, contextually aware, critically thinking health professional with a competitive advantage.

20 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

studying toward it, you can engage with that study on a deeper level. As Manuel Campos says, the experiential component “allows students to connect with others in the workforce who work in those areas, and thus develop a practical set of skills in the context of their exploration of these topics in their classes. The experiential component is essential because it brings the workforce skills to the classroom and further connects those skills to the liberal arts curriculum.”


FUTURE SIGHT That competitive advantage isn’t simply an optimistic assumption – it’s rooted in evidence, and we’re not the only ones who see the value in this strategy. “Liberal arts colleges can be a direct pipeline to careers in high-innovation areas,” says Dr. Sonia Cardenas of Trinity College in a recent issue of The Hechinger Report. “Workforce development too often is defined narrowly as skills training … [but] if we are serious about workforce development as an engine of progress, we must not forget that the future of work is the future of society. Workforce development is partly about preparing people for particular jobs that are needed here and now. But it’s also about educating people so that they have expansive skillsets and the ability to innovate and adapt to a changing world. It’s about enabling people to lead imaginatively in their workplaces and communities.” And that’s exactly what’s happening here. “The liberal arts develops the critical skillset to be lifelong learners and will ultimately prepare them for any profession or career,” says Dean Barb May. “This, in addition to any prescribed prerequisites for a particular profession, is a perfect combination to prepare students for this ever-changing world where they are not only prepared for their profession but able to adapt and meet any future challenges that may not exist yet nor necessarily be taught.” That last point – “future challenges that may not exist yet nor necessarily be taught” – holds the key to all of this.


Academic dean and professor of biology

If you’re fortunate enough to have a career, and that career was built on an educational foundation, think back to what you learned in school and how you’ve leveraged it since. There may well be specific skills honed or information memorized that you use today exactly as you learned it then, whether it was last year or many decades ago. And yet, chances are, you rely more heavily on what you’ve picked up along the way, and how you interpret that information and how you approach challenges that didn’t even exist when you received your original education. That’s because you didn’t just learn. You learned how to learn. How to think critically. How to question. How to tackle new problems. How to solve for what’s now and what’s next. And that’s the beauty of liberal arts. Many of us studied specifics that became dated – or even wholly irrelevant – after we completed our formal education. But the foundation is still paying dividends today because we gained holistic, intangible skills and broadened perspectives and an ability to adapt as new information comes in. We’re teaching today for the challenges of tomorrow. The only way to do that with confidence is to impart foundational skills and capabilities that are irreplaceable, can’t be automated, and can’t become outdated.


A HEALTHY OUTLOOK “At Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, we strive to educate students in a way that they can use the natural and social sciences, the arts, and humanities to engage in pathways of study that also have very concrete and defined professional applications,” says Campos. “And as ‘the future of work is the future of society,’ we strive to train students to be successful and versatile in the workforce through programs that are interdisciplinary and deeply rooted in the liberal arts.” The interests of students, expertise of faculty and demands of an ever-changing global workforce have aligned in a way that benefits all involved – including those of you reading this. The future is full of medical practitioners, researchers and innovators who will see challenges in new and different ways and approach them with unique perspectives and creative, groundbreaking solutions. And more than a few of them will come from right here at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s.

Cyprian Weaver Professor of Biological Sciences

Fall 2021 | 21

LET CARE BE HAD OF THE SICK 22 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine



St. Cloud, Minnesota, had been established as a city for more than 30 years before it held an actual hospital. And, for the most part, the city was okay with that. Care for the sick and injured, prior to the late 19th century, was generally handled at home, at the hands of loved ones. Hospitals were seen as warehouses for the lonely and destitute – a place to go to die.

Many nearby buildings were leveled, but the hospital was left intact, and for the next 48 hours, the sisters worked until help could arrive from the Twin Cities. The tornado, while tragic, served to break down local prejudice against hospitals in general and against sisters as nurses.

But as St. Cloud – and the United States – grew, needs changed. The arrival of the railroad made travel much easier and people more transient. With more unattached people without established homes, it became impractical to rely on family ties and charitable neighborliness to handle the sick. St. Cloud needed a hospital. And since, as S. Grace McDonald puts it in her book With Lamps Burning, “it had been the practice of Benedictines throughout the ages to undertake whatever work the needs of the time or place dictated,” the sisters seemed likely candidates to run it. St. Benedict’s Hospital was opened in February 1886. But minds aren’t changed quickly. In their first month the sisters received two patients. In their second month, four. Perhaps St. Cloud wasn’t ready for a hospital after all. Then, as S. Grace tells it, “There is a story that the sisters, worried about their venture, decided to pray together for nine successive days asking for Divine help in deciding whether or not to close their hospital. On the fifth day the answer came! A cyclone swept over the city and neighboring towns on April 14, 1886, injuring hundreds and killing many.”

S. Danile and S. Rita Claire in the St. Cloud Hospital pharmacy, 1957 – photo courtesy of Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives, used with permission.

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THE MANY HOMES OF ST. CLOUD HOSPITAL 1886 In February 1886, St. Benedict’s Hospital was blessed on Ninth Avenue in St. Cloud. A young doctor named A.C. Lamothe Ramsay had begun practice in St. Cloud in 1882 and, anxious to begin using the latest techniques and methods, asked the Sisters of Saint Benedict for their help in opening a hospital.


In May 1890, the sisters moved their hospital operations to the east side of the Mississippi River, at a site near the State Reformatory, and opened St. Raphael’s Hospital. (That location currently holds Saint Scholastica Convent, the retirement and assisted-living facility for the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict.)


In July 1900, after the east-side location proved inconvenient, a new 50-bed St. Raphael’s Hospital was opened on the original Ninth Avenue site. (That building still stands today as Place of Hope.)


REDEFINING NURSING One would think the idea of trained nurses would be universally embraced. Not quite so. Late 19th century medical journals featured opinions from (male) doctors like this: “Trained nurses know just enough to make them dangerous when they attempt to practice in our absence.”

I n February 1928 the current St. Cloud Hospital was blessed as a 250-bed facility between Eighth Street North and the Mississippi River. Today that hospital is the largest health care facility in the region, including approximately 6,500 employees and a medical staff of more than 550 physicians.


On Sept. 12, 1962, the St. Cloud Hospital was separately incorporated. The sisters continued to serve as sponsors of the hospital until 1995. (The College of Saint Benedict was separately incorporated in 1961.)

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Still, by 1905 it was clear that a staff of formally trained and registered nurses would be necessary for running a hospital, and in 1908 the sisters opened St. Raphael’s Hospital Training School, which eventually became the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing. As S. Carmen Mulcahy puts it in her book Nursing Education by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Joseph, Minnesota, “Some early nursing leaders stressed the fact that nursing was not a second-class subject and should be taught in a college or university setting.” But the costs of establishing such a program were prohibitive for many colleges. And the tuition at colleges that did establish nursing programs was prohibitive for many of the early students drawn to the field. So three-year diploma programs like the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing became valuable pathways for generations of nurses.

WHITE CROSS-RED SHIELD? The sisters were obviously bold and innovative in adopting and adapting the latest medical techniques for the St. Cloud area. But did you know they were also early adopters of “health insurance”? According to the St. Cloud Times, May 30, 1888: There are three hospitals now in operation under the direction and care of the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict, one in St. Cloud, one at Duluth and the third at Bismarck, D.T.* The Sisters have adopted a system of admission to these hospitals (in addition to the usual one by payment of stated weekly accounts), which is received with much favor. They have issued and are selling “Hospital Admission” tickets for $10 each. A purchaser is entitled, without further pay, to admission and treatment, subsistence and nursing at the three hospitals named, at any time during one year from the date of the ticket, in consequence of wounds, injury, or illness received or contracted, disabling him from manual labor. Insanity, contagious, infectious, venereal diseases, or injury received before the date of the ticket, or arising from the use of intoxicating drink or fighting, are excluded from the benefits of the ticket.” * Dakota Territory

The nursing staff of St. Raphael’s Hospital in 1923 was a blend of sisters and laywomen. Photo courtesy of St. Cloud Hospital, used with permission.

Finally, in fall 1969, the College of Saint Benedict introduced its baccalaureate nursing program. In The Torch (the CSB student newspaper at the time), CSB President Dr. Stanley Idzerda “stressed that such a program is urgently needed in Central Minnesota; that the College of Saint Benedict is the logical institution for this because the clinical facilities (St. Cloud Hospital) and the college are both under the sponsorship of the Sisters of Saint Benedict and are located only eight miles apart.” Research at the time revealed that the Minnesota League of Nursing and the American League of Nursing favored the growth and development of the four-year baccalaureate program “because the professional demands upon today’s nurse require a more extensive education each year.” In 1987 the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing officially closed. But the baccalaureate program at CSB has grown and thrived. And now the new graduate-level nursing programs at CSB, in partnership with SJU, offer one more avenue for developing trained, quality care tinged with a healthy portion of Benedictine influence.


Fall 2021 | 25


KORINNE KRIEGER ’07 EXTREME NURSING About 10 years ago, Korinne Krieger and her friend Andy McMurray (SJU ’06) were skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon and happened to be first on the scene to an avalanche where a young man had been buried. “By the time we arrived, the victim had been buried for 20 minutes. The victim’s friend was in complete shock and unable to perform a rescue. Fortunately, we had backcountry gear with us and proceeded to dig the young man out. He was pulseless and apneic and we immediately started CPR while our third partner called for help. Ski patrol arrived about 15 minutes later and he was transferred to a local hospital and thankfully survived. “That was the first time I had ever performed CPR on a person outside a hospital setting. I didn’t have drugs,

26 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

machines, monitors or a physician giving orders. I had the people I was with, what was in my pack and my nursing training. While extremely intense for all involved, I also was immediately inspired and driven to learn more about treating patients in a backcountry setting.” And so she did. By 2014 she was in Alaska working as an apprentice ski guide with Alaska Heliskiing and volunteering with Denali Rescue Volunteers. “Over the course of one month, our patrol skinned up the West Buttress, hiked over Denali Pass, skied out the Muldrow Glacier, hiked through the tundra and pack rafted across the McKinley River to reach Wonder Lake.” Along the way, a friend convinced her to occasionally join the safety team

for a number of Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV shows. That led to jungle adventures and swimming with sharks.

Major at CSB

Eventually though, she found herself hoping for more of a home base. “I had some incredible experiences, but I also missed out on a lot of big events in the lives of my friends and family members.”

I had many excellent professors, but S. Johanna Becker was my favorite. I actually was never her student, but she was my second cousin and I was fortunate to spend significant time with her and many of the other sisters.

So this summer, Korinne accepted a position as the assistant program director at Desert Mountain Medicine in Leadville, Colorado. DMM trains wilderness medicine providers, and Korinne’s role will involve supporting the team with logistics, training and curriculum building. “I have an office!” she says, but acknowledges “you won’t find me sitting. I have a balance board at my standing desk.”

Favorite Bennie memory


Favorite professor

I can’t choose! Working for the Peer Resource Program’s Boundary Waters trips, Pinestock, climbing club, longboarding at SJU, Italy study abroad, South Africa study abroad, Maple Syrup Festival. …



2005 Kathrine Walter earned her master’s

degree in education from Concordia University, St. Paul, June ’21. She is a middle school social studies teacher in St. Paul Public Schools.

Michelle Myers Berg, longtime actor 1984

and former guide for Wabasha Street Caves tours, began collaborating with the Hotel Celeste to offer two 75-minute tours, “St. Peter, St. Paul” and “True Confessions Gangster Tour.” Both are stuffed with stories of iconic sites and colorful characters that shaped the city of St. Paul, from mobsters and performers to architects and archbishops, Aug. ’21.

1987 Suzanne Spellacy was hired by the

2007 Rose Spring DeBoer was chosen for

2013 Joan Van Grinsven Doss accepted a

position as planning and development administrator for Christian County, Missouri, June ’21.

2017 Emmanuela “Emma” Bonglack co-

authored the article “Monocarboxylate transporter antagonism reveals metabolic vulnerabilities of viral-driven lymphomas,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, June ’21.

the Distinguished Teaching Award at Holy Names Academy in Seattle, Washington. Rose currently teaches Theology 9 & 10 and is known for her engaging classes and positive spirit, May ’21.


Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx to serve as the organization’s new general counsel, July ’21.

1988 Kristina Anderson is a behavioral

health consultant with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, Aug. ’21.

1993 Jacalyn Collins Zamorano was

appointed to the board of directors for Diversified Plastics, Inc. Her board committee experience includes board director nominating and election, executive review, CEO succession and selection, compensation, 401k and profit sharing, Aug. ’21.





joined Presbyterian Homes & Services as regional sales and marketing manager, Aug. ’21.

BRIDGET SITZER NORDLUND was named as one of Path to Purchase IQ’s “People to Watch for 2021,” May ’21.

2009 Paige Fay Batcha (formerly Candice Paige



was named a “Top Doctor” by Mpls. St.Paul Magazine (July ’21), an honor she has received multiple times. Tracey is a hospitalist at Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s Children’s Hospitals, and also serves on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

2000 Stacy Deery Stennes became President

of the Minnesota Association for Justice, a professional association of trial attorneys who defend the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and Minnesota. MAJ advocates for public policies that enhance consumer protections, accountability and equal access to justice, Aug. ’21.

2005 Aimee Nguyen Norasingh was named

to the Twin Cities Business Notable BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Executives list, June ’21.

Kamke) was hired by Versique Search and Consulting as their vice president of finance & accounting consulting to lead a newly created division within the company, July ’21. In her role, Paige will collaborate with Versique’s current consulting and executive search teams to grow clients and consultants within the finance and accounting contract consulting practice area.

Ashley Hendricks Kaplan was hired as director of teaching and learning for Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools, July ‘21.

2011 Molly Noel Madson was nominated to

2020 Sidney Schiffler is the new head coach

of the Minnewaska Area Girls’ Basketball program, May ’21. During her time at CSB, Schiffler played basketball and developed into one of the top three-point shooting guards in NCAA Division III.

2021 Mengzhen Li was accepted into the

University of Minnesota’s computer science Ph.D. program beginning Fall 2021.

MARRIAGES 2002 2008

Julie Bartels to Timothy Zensen, Oct. ’20

become one of the Advertising Federation of Minnesota’s “32 under 32.” This year’s list of nominees are bright, young marketing and advertising minds who disrupted industry trends in 2020 by introducing new customer engagement strategies and redefining organizational marketing norms, May ’21.

2012 Aimee Hein graduated with a Ph.D. in

theological ethics from Boston College in May ’21, and is working as an adjunct professor at Boston College for the 2021-2022 academic year. Her article, “Responsibility Ethics in the Age of Coronavirus” was published in Health Progress-Journal of the Catholic Health Association in the U.S, July ’21.



For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect: or email us at Fall 2021 | 27


2010 Lindsey Cermak to Joshua Pust, July ’20 Amanda Backman to Christopher Wilson, 2011

Amy Honek to Patrick Martin ’16 2016

Skyler Hult to Davis Deanovic ’18, 2018

Chelsie Sobieck to Michael Kreklau, 2012

Brooke Piepenburg to Justin Remer ’15, Oct. ’20

Meredith Jarchow to Samuel Olson ’18, June ’21


Erin Karl to Luke Burson, May ’21

Sarah Clark to Timothy Immelman ’17, 2017

Kelsey Swenson to Joshua Noah, Aug. ’21

Oct. ’20

Sept. ’20

(SOT ’20), June ’21

Nicole Nelson to Kyle Kriewall, June ’21

June ’21

Samantha Exsted to Todd Brandell, 2014

Marisa Johnson to Chase Myhran ’15, Aug. ’21

Emily Kiolbasa to Jacob Hamaker, June ’21

Sept. ’20

May ’21

Bonnie Triplet to Patrick Ellingson ’18, Jan. ’21

Hannah Uphoff to Andrew Hesse, Feb. ’21

Megan Vit to Matthew Fink ’16, July ’21


Katrina Bigalk to Riley Atkinson, June ’21



Kaitlyn Huntington to Samuel Kiesow, July ’21

Kellie Libert to Timothy Malin, Feb. ’21

Molly Pflipsen to Justin Woodruff ’13, Oct. ’20 Victoria Hernandez to Grant Williamson, 2015 Oct. ’20

Cassandra Jones to David Frye ’15, May ’21

Anna Luke to William McCue ’15, June ’21

Sydney Schleif to Burleigh Biel ’15, June ’21



SHLEY WINDEN TO JACK A HANSEN ’16, JUNE ’21 28 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine




2019 Theresa Slivnik to Benjamin Bierscheid ’19, Aug. ’21


2020 Kailee Jakobs to Cole Sachs, June ’21 Hannah Gronberg to Jacob Liska, June ’21 2021





NGELA KRTNICK COMPLIN A & DANIEL COMPLIN, BOY, PRESTON, APRIL ’21 L isa Kingsley Hrpcek & Adam Hrpcek, girl, Eldee, July ’21 Holly Reinsmoen Robinson & Daniel 2005 Robinson, boy, Ole, April ’21

Angela Phillips Schindele & Christopher Rosenthal, boy, Lewis, April ’21 Jill Randall Tenny & Ryan Tenny, girl, Laurel, May ’21 Kelly Ziegler Baker & Brian Baker, girl, 2006 Sophia, April ’21

Kathryn Fogle Martinson & Adam Martinson, boy, Milo, Aug. ’21 Ann Foede Wigton & Daniel Wigton, girl, Teresa, May ’21


ACHEL ISTAS PRUDHOMME & NICHOLAS PRUDHOMME ’06, GIRL, R ELIZABETH, JAN. ’21 Rebecca Loonan Boone & John 2007 Boone ’06, boy, John, March ’21

Sarah Wildenborg Toov & Bryan Toov, girl, Lydia, June ’21

2008 Hien Dang Studniski & James Studniski, girl, Ellie, June ’21

Kathryn Heim Mestnik & Erik Mestnik, 2009 girl, Morgan, Aug. ’21

Krista Roerick & Benjamin Douvier, girl, Lennon, July ’21 Lisa Wagner Vievering & Jason Vievering ’06, boy, Luke, July ’21 Kelly Peltz Korn & Nicholas Korn, girl, 2010 Anna, June ’21

Ashley Sieben Mitzel & Kristopher Mitzel, girl, Madelynn, April ’21




Elizabeth Humbert Beckman & Ryan 2011 Beckman ’11, boy, Arthur, Aug. ’21

Katrina Reker Bogart & Daniel Bogart, girl, Elizabeth, April ’21 Emily Rassier Schmit & Jordan Schmit, girl, Parker, June ’21 Kelsey Rose Deutz & Parker Deutz ’12, 2012 boy, Frank, Aug. ’21

Kaitlin Adams Donnay & Nick Donnay, boy, Lucas, June ’21 Mikala Foehrenbacher Gaffke & Drew Gaffke, girl, Scarlett, May ’21 Molly McCue Kain & Edmund “Ted” Kain ’12, girl, Rose, May ’21 Karlye Barron Rude & Luke Rude, girl, Myla, May ’21 Alison Tsuchiya Theiler & Clay Theiler, girl, Cape, May ’21 Kate Johnson Baker & Collin Baker ’13, 2013


girl, Elodie, July ’21


Thursday, Dec. 9 Saturday, Dec. 11 Escher Auditorium Stephen B. Humphrey Theater College of Saint Benedict Saint John’s University



E mily Bendickson Gunderson & Ross Gunderson, boy, Hayden, July ’21

Michelle Pokorny Jones & Isaak Jones ’13, boy, Norman, Feb. ’21 Sophia Nolan Sundsmo & Adam Sundsmo ’10, boy, Griffin, May ’21 Catherine “Cady” Bowe Goetsch & Jacob Goetsch, girl, Hallie, April ’21 Maria Slivnik Harren & Stephen Harren, boy, James, May ’21 Ashley Welters Kruse & Brandon Kruse, girl, Adelynn, May ’21 Breanna Richey Magedanz & Tyler Magedanz ’15, boy, Noah, July ’21


30 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Tickets Phone: 320-363-5777 Web:

Rebeka Schwendemann Scepaniak & John Scepaniak ’14, girl, Nora, April ’21 Mary “Katy” Jenkins Steinbach & Adam Steinbach ’14, girl, Florence, May ’21


Mary Jo Bauer Ederer, mother of 1948

Vicki Ederer Way ’73 & Marie Ederer Beaulier ’87, March ’21


Jane Neaton Borer, April ’21

Marjorie Schutz Olson, June ’21 Mary McErlane Mowbray, June ’21 1951 1952 Mary Bratsch Foley, Jan. ’16 Mary Ladner Ulm, mother of Kathleen Ulm Crandall ’82, Aug. ’21



Katrina Siebels Starzec & DJ Starzec, boy, Rory, Jan. ’21 Jenna Schlangen Skillings & Casey 2016 Skillings, boy, Hudson, July ’21

Kelly Thoreson Latterell & Patrick 2017 Latterell ’16, girl, Piper, April ’21

Sadie Welinski Pfeiffer & Derek Pfeiffer, boy, Hendrix, June ’21


J osephine Zehnle Terwey, mother of Ann Terwey Orth ’68, Martha Terwey Benton ’75, Susan Terwey ’77 & Louise Terwey ’78, June ’21

1943 Harriet Hunstiger Campbell, July ’21 Lois Levasseur Liners, mother of 1946 Mary Liners Schuett ’75, May ’21


Catherine Drahmann, May ’21

talk LET’S


Jocelyn Wright Allen, May ’21

Jeannene Hann Faller, July ’21

Ruth Groebner Polta, mother of Anne Polta ’78, Mary Polta ’78 & Catherine Polta Winkelhake ’81, Aug. ’21

1954 1955

Lois Hagen Schwob, July ’21 Colleen Hentges Dolan, Dec. ’20

Edward Ehlenz, spouse of Lois Blais Ehlenz, July ’21 Donna Plante, July ’21

Donald DeHart, spouse of Yvonne Hall 1956 DeHart, May ’21

Carl Nelson, spouse of Ruth McCarville Nelson, July ’21

1958 Bette Jayne Youso Haak, May ’21 1959 Mary Jane Kotsmith Grow, June ’21 Marguerite Foley Anderson, mother of 1960 Paula Anderson ’89, Aug. ’21


Mary Anderson Herout, Feb. ’10

Let’s start the conversation now, so your voice can carry on through generations. A legacy gift of any size pays exponential returns. It’s an investment in ambitious, promising women – women who will honor your legacy with transformative, world-changing impact. Make a bequest through your will or trust, name CSB as a beneficiary, or establish a charitable gift annuity.

The choice is yours. Your legacy is in good hands.

Contact Gigi Fourré Schumacher ’74 at or 320-363-5480 and learn more.

Fall 2021 | 31


1963 Carol Christopherson Hallamek, Aug. ’21 Damian Barthle, spouse of Jan Kulzer 1964 Barthle, Sept. ’20


Stephanie Helgesen, Jan. ’20

Jeanne Warner Nelson, mother of Megan Nelson Woods ’88 & Angela Nelson Shaughnessy ’92, June ’21 Thomas Cole, spouse of Joanne Meyer 1966 Cole, June ’21

Evelyn Ranweiler Crowley, April ’21 1968 Judith Nygren Jeska Perry, mother of Nicole Perry-Mareck ’94, April ’21 Renee (Genesia) Rau, OSB, May ’21 1969 1970 Sheryl Flicker Clum, Dec. ’20 Judy Angvik Zier, July ’21

1972 Jeanne Pyzdrowski Fraune, April ’21 Margaret Fazendin, mother of Susan 1973 Fazendin Haeg, April ‘21

Joan Wortz, mother of Mary Jo 1975 Wortz-Quill, May ’21


Laura Carlson, May ’21

Mary Kremer, Aug. ’21

Jean Dalseth Lesmeister, June ’21

Mary Ann Rueter, mother of Virginia Rueter, July ’21

Loretta Schloemer, mother of Connie 1977

1981 Charles Seivert ’45, father of Mary

Paul Opatz, spouse of Diane Dockendorf Opatz, May ’21

Audrey Petri, mother of Ann Petri Pearson, 1982

Schloemer Gerster, Aug. ’21

Lois Sinner, mother of Therese Sinner, Patricia Sinner Neuschwander ’78 & Sharon Sinner Hemann ’87, May ’21 Mary Lou Schmitt, mother of Joan Schmitt 1978

Gasse & Marie Schmitt Popp ’79, June ’21

July ’21

Mary Klimek, mother of Katherine Klimek 1984 Eldevik, Margaret Klimek Fallon ’88 & Sarah Klimek ’92, June ’21

John Steichen, father of Marlys Steichen 1985 Huber, July ’21

Yvonne Noronha, Nov. ’20

Marion Baker, mother of Barbara Baker Speedling, Katherine Baker Lauer ’78, Monica Baker McMahon ’84 & Jeanne Baker Meyer ’87, June ’21 Carl Wyczawski, father of Mary Beth 1979 Wyczawski Murray, Aug. ’21

Evelyn Schindler, mother of Jane 1980 Schindler Kirby, May ’21

John Miheve, spouse of Leann Luckow Miheve, May ’21 Theresa Ertl, mother of Sharon Ertl Pogatschnik & Lynn Ertl Staricka ’82, June ’21 David McKenzie ’43, father of Kathleen 1981 McKenzie-Scott, April ’21

Mary Guettler, mother of Brenda Guettler Ness, Beth Guettler Lafeber ’84 & Rebecca Guettler ’85, June ’21

Seivert-McGraw & Elizabeth Seivert Shaskey ’89, July ’21

Kathie Jepson, mother of Virginia Lynn Jepson Sneltjes, Aug. ’21 Lawrence Amelse, father of Maria Amelse, 1987 July ’21

Diane Casey, mother of Lorie Casey Schlichting & Kristine Casey Krenz ’91, April ’21

Jill Peterson Connors, Aug. ’21

Ralph Borgerding, father of Julie 1988

Borgerding Boue, Mary Jo Borgerding Lewis ’94 & Kathleen Borgerding ’98, May ’21

Doris Daiker, mother of Kristen Daiker, Dec. ’20 Arnold Kunkel, father of Kimberly Kunkel 1989 Eidem, Aug. ’21

Robert Aesoph, father of Mary Aesoph Schlechter, June ’20 Lloyd Schultenover, father of Kim Schultenover, June ’21 Woitto Jarvi, father of Renee Jarvi Skrbec, June ’21 Susanne Laughrey, mother of Linda Laughrey Stouffer, July ’21 Bernice Evens, mother of Michelle Evens 1990 Fjellman, May ’21

Felix Gudio, father of Cailin Gudio, March ’21 Patricia Kuklock, mother of Mary Kuklock Hoppe, May ’21 William Tschohol, father of Cynthia 1991 Tschohol Alesso, July ’21


REALLY? CSB and SJU on social media are great, but the CSB Alumnae Association has a whole stream of alum-specific content to keep you up-to-date and connected. Like and follow us everywhere!

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Carol Reiter, mother of Lisa Reiter, Jan. ’21

Carl Thomas, father of Andrea Thomas 1993 Dietrich & Mary Thomas Braun ’95, April ’21

Douglas Kuper, father of Tracy Kuper Hummelgard, May ’21 Charles Bechtold, father of Melisa Bechtold Tenvoorde, June ’21 Maryann Kalpin Derr, mother of Melissa 1994 Kalpin Prescott, July ’21

Jerome Schmidt, father of Jennifer 1996

Schmidt & Jacqueline Schmidt ’97, May ’21

Richard Carraher, father of Michelle 1997 Collins, May ’21

Stephen Rowley, father of Sarah Rowley Barrett, April ’21


David Pearson, father of Katie Pearson 1998 Westanmo, July ’20

Berton Plaskett, father of Marie Plaskett 2001 Barrientos, May ’21

Clarence Fowler, father of Sarah Fowler, May ’21 Marcia Boatwright, mother of Sarah 2002 Boatwright Esper, July ’21

Jenee Hannon, mother of Danielle 2003 Hannon Boser, July ’21

Patrick Lynch, father of Kathryn Lynch Leuthner & Anna Lynch Sandquist ’09, July ’21

Radhika Lal Snyder, July ’21

Rosemary Hendrickson, mother of 2004

Charnelle Hendrickson O’Connor, June ’21

Raymond Funk, father of Kathleen Funk 2005 Pung, May ’21


Kevin McGowan, father of Amanda 2009

Your friends – your classmates – Bennies who’ve never met you. … They want to know about the important moments and milestones in your life. So let us know so we can let them know. Tell us about your promotions, awards, babies, weddings and loved ones whom you’d like folks to remember.

Stephen Sawyer, father of Michelle 2011

It’s not bragging, it’s just sharing.

James Thury, father of Amanda Layer, 2008 May ’21

McGowan Petersen, April ‘21 Sawyer Teigen, July ’21

Cheryl Beltz, mother of Kimberly Beltz, 2017 May ’21

Mark Uphoff, father of Hannah Uphoff 2018

Register in BenniesConnect at to stay up-to-date all around. Or simply email

Hesse, July ’21

Life is better when

BenniesConnect When Bennies connect, old friendships thrive and new friendships blossom. Use BenniesConnect to submit class notes, update your address, check on a friend and plant the seed for more meaningful connections— both personally and professionally. To register, go to and click on the BenniesConnect link.

Fall 2021 | 33





1. E ight Bennies from the class of 1992 met up in Savannah, Georgia, for a long weekend in September. Front L to R: Kim Masloski Bourgerie, Karen Gallagher Winker, Erin OToole-Tomczik. Middle L to R: Beth Johnson, Rachel Franklin, Gerilyn Jacobs Kusnierek, Kristi Bezenek Campbell. Back: Karla Reber Schmitt. 2. These alumnae from Hong Kong always get together once or twice a year, and 2021 was no different. Pictured are Crystal Pang ’15, Amy Zheng ’14 and Samantha Ng ’20. 3. Bennie Day started this year with coffee in Woodbury, Minnesota! Front: Lara Grove Zuleger ’95. Middle L to R: Colleen Murphy Roth ’93, Stephanie Rutten Liberko ’89. Back L to R: Shellie Kieke ’95, Sierra Kaptain ’16, Annette Maggi ’87, Rhonda Prasnicki Galke ’87, Mary Ann Murphy Briguet ’67, Doreen Thelen Runquist ’90 and Felicia Tibayan Leammukda ’96.


4. C SB/SJU Night at Target Field in July ’21 brought together this fun group of Bennies. Front L to R: Kelly Hruska Klinepier ’00, Karen Ronningen Jones ’99. Back L to R: Jill Koenig Wines ’99, Heather Niemi Merritt ’00, Susanna Cook Miller ’01 and Kristi Kelly Laliberte ’00. 5. C lass of 2006 Bennie friends enjoyed CSB/SJU Night at Target Field. L to R: Kelly Ziegler Baker, Stephanie Hartje, Danielle Purcell Lohbeck and Stacy Wurm. 6. T he Young Alum Community gathered for a social in Aug. ’21. Front L to R: Cathy Nguyen ’20, Daniela Mejia ’18, Emily Berg ’18, Jean Dempsey, Amy Anderson. Back L to R: Joe Larson ’21, Kelsey St. John ’15, Emma Thiemann ’20, Connor Thury ’19, Anna Hueg ’17, Kaitlyn Ludlow-Broback ’17 and Sam LudlowBroback ’16 (SOT ’21).

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7. B ennie Day at Rojo in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. L to R (clockwise): Rebecca Borrell ’81, Jen Kocourek ’92, Annemarie Kettler ’17, Katie Kocourek ’17, Maggie Gillis ’21, Emily Berg ’18, Meghan Ortizcazarin ’19, Libby Grygar ’19, Jill Frey ’98, Stacey Hey Wentz ’98, Megan Anderson ’21, Ellen Reidt ’17, Samantha Reamer ’17 and Amy Anderson. 8. B ennie alums (and some current students) have been gathering at a family cabin near Maple Lake, Minnesota, for the past 25 years. L to R: Ann Shallbetter Rivera ’98, Nadine Wetzel-Curtis ’97, Erica Timko Olson ’96, Sophia Anderson ’24, Hannah Anderson ’24, Lori Ann Rodahl Anderson ’98 and Molly Dose ’99. 9. Bennie Day at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, Minnesota. L to R: Kelly Sweeney Schwartzbauer ’00, Meghan Simmet Hermes ’13, Becky Fandrich ’14, Tiffany Orloske Deziel ’00, Elizabeth Lamm Marin ’89, Ashley Dalbec ’21 and Olivia Rodriguez ’15.


10. Bennies and Johnnies celebrated Bennie Day at Highland Catholic School in St. Paul. Front L to R: Emily Boyle ’17, Brittany O’Neill ’21. Back L to R: Linda Shea ’97, Susan Shea Kammueller ’94, Kassy Kenney ’84, Tom Powers ’17, Chris Theobald Peterson ’91 and Mary Schmidt Nyhus ’12. Not pictured: Corrie Schmidt ’06, Ken Backe ’72 and Dan Welle ’15.



10 Fall 2021 | 35

Your words have

POWER The Alum Referral Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship (renewable for four years, totaling $4,000) available to deserving prospective Bennies and Johnnies. And all it takes to qualify is your recommendation. Give your support to help them make a CSB/SJU experience affordable while you help us fill our campuses with talented, ambitious students who can make our community stronger. We’re counting on you to help us recruit an amazing group of new students … and, with the Alum Referral Scholarship in play, those students are counting on you, too.

Think about the students in your life, then visit today and get started.


36 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine


Getting things on the road BY | GREG SKOOG (SJU ’89)

Mary Dombovy ’77 and her late husband Michael Johnson have sponsored a named, endowed scholarship at Saint Ben’s for a number of years. “I was very fortunate to go to undergrad here,” Mary recalls. “My father became ill during the second semester of my freshman year. And I missed a fair amount of time, including labs. All of my professors at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s were willing to let me make that up – including evenings, weekends and a little bit into the end of the year – so that I wasn’t set back half a year. system in St. Cloud that can provide you with clinical training sites. I would stop thinking about this and get it done.” In Mary’s experience as a physician, there is a crucially important and rapidly growing role for advanced practice providers like DNPs (doctors of nursing practice). “What it allows the physician to do is to see the new patients and focus on the most difficult aspects,” she says. “The nurse practitioner can do the medication management, counseling with the patient, see the patient for follow-up. … “So it allows us to care for more people, care for them well, and care for them in a cost-effective manner. Which, with the rising cost of our health care system, I think is incredibly important.” After that early conversation, Mary chose to back up her advice with a gift of $25,000 to help fund the market research study for the DNP program. And, once the decision was made to proceed with the program, Mary stepped up again with another gift to help fund renovations in our Schoenecker Nursing Education Suite to make the space better suit DNP training. Her gift supporting the Mary Dombovy and Michael Johnson DNP Simulation Space will create exam simulation rooms equipped to observe and evaluate performance.

CSB alumna and current Board of Trustees member Mary Dombovy '77

“That was incredibly important to me because I already knew I wanted to apply to med school and, if I was set back, it could have affected my application negatively. So I was always very thankful for that.” Mary did go to med school, graduating from Mayo Medical School and completing her residency in 1985. Then, in 1989, she set off for Rochester, New York, and the chance to help launch a new brain injury and stroke program. Today that program has grown into The Neuroscience Institute at Rochester Regional Health. So when Saint Ben’s started thinking about introducing a graduate program for advanced nurse practitioners, Mary was one of our first calls. “I said, ‘Why are you THINKING about it?’ ” Mary laughs. “I mean, this is a no brainer. You’ve had a nursing program since the sixties. You have a large health care

It allows us to care for more people, care for them well, and care for them in a cost-effective manner.” “It’s not as sexy as a scholarship,” Mary concludes, “but I felt it was important to getting things on the road.” We agree. And we’re grateful for Mary’s advice, support and impact on the new program.

You can find out more information about supporting academic innovation at the College of Saint Benedict by contacting Chad Marolf, senior principal gift officer, at or 320-363-5402.

Fall 2021 | 37




Classes ending in 2 and 7 June 24-26, 2022

Next summer, Bennie and Johnnie alums will make up for lost time with TWO full-weekend Reunion events. Mark your calendar, watch for more details and don’t miss yours.

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